UNLV Volleyball returned home to the Cox Pavilion after going even on the road a week prior.
Thursday vs New Mexico
New Mexico (11-5, 3-2 CONF) beat the house and swept UNLV (11-6, 3-2 CONF) on Oct. 12 (25-18, 25-16, 25-18).
The Rebels opened the first set with a brief lead but never maintained that success. The Lobos extended its lead with four crucial 3-0 plus runs. A handful of the runs were catalyzed through UNLV’s errors, seven total in the first, which led to a victorious opening set for New Mexico, 25-18.
“We are definitely not getting our offense going at the rate we need it to be,” UNLV Head Coach Malia Shoji said. “Definitely looking at decision-making and finding ways to score.”
The offensive laurels continued over into the second set for UNLV as the team only recorded nine kills to New Mexico’s 17. Although the Rebels kept it close up until the midway point, the team totaled a match-low 16 points. UNLV was unable to find a way to score which hindered its ability to push past self-inflicted mistakes. The Lobos took the second set 25-16.
New Mexico led in every major category over the course of the match. The momentum carried over for the Lobos into the third and final set to complete the first sweep on the Rebels’ court since Sept. 2nd, 2021.
“It’s only a loss if we don’t learn from this,” Shoji said. “We got to figure out how we can get better … We have a great opportunity again Saturday afternoon.”
Saturday vs Air Force
UNLV is back in the win column after the Rebels took down first place Air Force (12-5, 4-2 CONF) on Oct. 7 (25-19, 25-13, 24-26, 25-17).
The Rebels showcased great focus in each phase of the first set. UNLV finished the opening set leading in every major category to win, 25-19.
Up 1-0, UNLV continued the dominance in the second set as the Falcons managed to put up a match-low 13 points. The Rebels produced a match-low one error in the second set, which set up a convincing 25-13 second set victory.
With one win away from losing, the Falcons woke up in a tightly contested third set. Air Force fought back and stole the third in a back-and-forth grinder that extended past 25.
The Rebels answered the call and finished what was started. UNLV recorded a tied match-high of 15 kills in the fourth set, while team errors were limited to two. Senior outside hitter, Kennedy Prince clinched the final set with a clutch service ace to stamp the match victory.
Junior outside hitter Madi Kelly produced a well-rounded performance filling the stat sheet, as she led UNLV in digs (8) and service aces (4) with a complimentary 12 kills. Senior outside hitter Isabel Martin helped capitalize the victory with a match-high 18 kills.
UNLV goes back on the road to the team up north on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and Fresno State on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.